October herping - Columbia Gorge & Jedediah Smith Redwood SP

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Hadar
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Joined: October 12th, 2011, 5:39 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
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October herping - Columbia Gorge & Jedediah Smith Redwood SP

Post by Hadar » November 24th, 2015, 7:27 pm

Fall has arrived in the PNW although it feels more like winter to me of late which means one thing, RAIN!! In other words herping season for amphibians is at its prime time. Last month JP Lawrence flew up from the deep South to join me on a little herping adventure. We started in the Columbia Gorge since he flew into Portland and then drove down to California to check out Jedediah Smith State Park since last time I was at the Redwoods it was closed. Prior to our trip, we checked the laws regarding herping in California to ensure we followed them correctly. All herpetofauna found on this trip were visual encounters.


At the Columbia Gorge the water was exceptionally low and even the rocks were dry in areas just a month ago were under water. We had worn our waders ready to cross the pools following the log jam but pools that were previously up to my chest were only at my waist. We didn't have a lot of success in finding many herps but we did get stopped by a few people asked why we were wearing headlamps and peering into the crevices in the rock walls towering above us. One person asked if we were looking for monsters. When we found our first Dicamp we pointed it out to them and got a "holy crap!" from one guy who couldn't believe that salamanders got that large. A group of photographers who had come to take early morning photographs of the Oneonta Lower Falls stopped to start a photo shoot of one of the Dicamps and a Red-legged we found.

Columbia Gorge count
3 Dicamptodon tenebrosus
1 Taricha granulosa
1 Rana aurora
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We ended up finding tons of larval Dicamps at Jedediah Smith State Park but I haven't figured out a good way to photograph those guys at night, in the water, without disturbing them so I don't have any photos of those guys. I also didn't photograph every Tailed frog or Del Norte because there were too many but I did include an array of photographs. We also stumbled upon a bear while herping but I don't have a photograph of him either.
Redwood National and State Parks count
3 Aneides ferreus
23 Ascaphus truei
7 Rana boylii
1 Rhyacotriton variegatus
17 Dicamptodon tenebrosus
59 Plethodon elongatus
8 Ensatina eschscholtzii
2 Rana aurora
1 Anaxyrus boreas
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My two favorite photos. Salamanders checking out who's at the door.
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Another favorite :) Whenever people say they don't like salamanders I'm going to have to pull out this photo because who couldn't fall in love with this face??
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NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Re: October herping - Columbia Gorge & Jedediah Smith Redwoo

Post by NACairns » November 25th, 2015, 10:22 am

Great post and photos, looks like it was a productive trip. You got tons of Ascaphus, are they general tricky to spot? So many cool, cool weather species in the NW, one of these days.
Thanks for sharing,
Nick

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TravisK
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Joined: July 8th, 2010, 10:14 am
Location: Eastern Washington

Re: October herping - Columbia Gorge & Jedediah Smith Redwoo

Post by TravisK » December 7th, 2015, 4:42 pm

Nice job Heather. Glad to see some of us out there making post. My fingers are crossed for a productive 2016.

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jonathan
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Re: October herping - Columbia Gorge & Jedediah Smith Redwoo

Post by jonathan » December 15th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Nice trip!

I recognize that canyon from other herper's posts, but somehow have never been up it even though I've herped at least a dozen different streams in the Gorge.

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